Can I be evicted during the current state of emergency?
Your landlord can serve you with a Notice to Quit for things like lease violations and missing rent payments. If you do not have a lease, your landlord can give you a 30 day notice without needing a reason. But, your landlord can’t make you leave your unit without bringing you to court. The Maine courts are closed right now to cases that are not emergencies. They are not scheduling evictions until after May 1st. Your landlord could ask that your case be set as an emergency. You should call us if your landlord does this. You have only three days to respond to tell the court why your case is not an emergency.
What if my landlord does not bring me to court and asks or demands that I leave?
Your landlord cannot force you to leave without going to court. If your landlord tries, tell them you have a right to the eviction process. Call your local police department and let them know that you are a tenant and your landlord is trying to lock you out.
If your landlord continues to threaten to remove you, call Pine Tree Legal for assistance.
Should I keep paying my rent since my landlord cannot really bring me to court?
Yes. If you do not pay your rent, your landlord will be able to eventually evict you even if it is not until after May 1st. If you have a lease, your landlord may be able to evict you after May 1st even if you pay what is owed before your court date.
Do I have to let my landlord into my unit?
Maine law generally allows a landlord to enter a unit if they provide 24 hours written notice. But, we have never had a State of Emergency like we do right now. The State of Emergency does not say your landlord cannot go in your unit. But, we think it is reasonable to tell your landlord that the state government has recommended people practice social distancing and you do not want them in your unit unless it is an emergency. If you have a disability that makes COVID-19 dangerous for you, you can ask for a Reasonable Accommodation for your landlord to not come in your unit until the threat is over. Learn more about Reasonable Accommodations, and you can call us if your landlord is giving you trouble with this issue.
I’ve already been to eviction court and have a date I need to move by. Do I still need to move?
Yes. If you have already been to court and have an agreement or a judgment, you must still follow it. Your landlord can still get a “Writ of Possession” from the court. When you are served with a “Writ of Possession,” you have 48 hours to move before the sheriff’s office can force you out of your home. If you do not move on time, your landlord may lock you out, shut off your electricity, or have law enforcement remove you from your home. Learn more about your rights as a renter.
Where can I get help if I'm having eviction or rental issues?
PTLA offices may be closed to the public, but we are still here to help! You can call your local office during our regular call in hours, and we may be able to help.